Saturday 24 May 2014


I saw this piece on this excellent and very amusing blog (which you may have noticed, joined the blogroll some time ago). It's an excellent letter asking Ms Baillie to explain some of the comments that she has made on numerous occasions highlighting why she thinks that, in order to maintain the prosperity of the Helensburgh area, she is happy for taxpayers of the UK to spend £100 billion on a means of wiping out entire countries.  

You might have thought that, as a socialist, she would have found this idea distasteful, and that she might even have come up with another way of creating wealth in the area. Not so.

Those of us who know the works of Ms Baillie will also know that she is not what anyone in their right minds would describe as being a stickler for the truth, and it turns out that, in fact, the area is not prosperous at all. 

So might we suppose that Ms Baillie support for these WMDs is based on a personal affection for mass destruction, or is it that she has been ordered by London to make up any rubbish she wants, but at all costs to support these killing monsters and their radioactive leaks less than 25 miles from Glasgow?

Thanks to The Misssy M Misssives and Mr Pollock for letting Munguin reproduce this letter.
Dear Ms Baillie,

Recently, I attended a meeting organised by the Helensburgh Advertiser in the Victoria Halls in Helensburgh. The meeting was interesting but it did not clarify an important issue, which is whether the Base at Faslane is a benefit to or a blight on Helensburgh.

Your assertion at the meeting that we only need to look around Helensburgh to see the beneficial impact that the Faslane Base has on this area surprised me. Central Helensburgh does not look prosperous to me. This is underlined by the large number of empty shops and by the charity shops in prime positions in the centre of the town. Charity shops have an important role but their number and location suggest that there is not much competition from conventional retailers for these shops. In addition to the numerous semi-derelict empty shops, there are major buildings, including former banks, a hotel and a filling station that appear to have been abandoned. If you doubt this, I’ll be happy to give you copies of the photographs I took recently in central Helensburgh. This situation is surprising in what should be a prosperous town, especially one that supposedly benefits from 11,000 people employed nearby. 

I noticed that Mr Young, in his letter published in the Advertiser (8/5/14), says that the number of "directly related defence jobs" is even higher (12,000), so the beneficial effects of the Base on commerce in Helensburgh should be even more obvious. It isn’t. At the meeting, you were very clear that 6,500 people are employed by the MOD and Babcocks at the Base and another 4,500 are employed in the supply chain supporting the workers at the Base. You were adamant that these numbers are "very real and not made up" and that you have consistently quoted these figures to justify your support for the Base. It is surprising that the potentially huge spending power of such a large and presumably well-paid workforce does not have an obvious beneficial effect on Helensburgh. Why is that? 

At the meeting in the Victoria Halls, a gentleman from the audience provided a possible answer to this question. He had learned that a large number of staff at Faslane live at the base from Monday to Thursday but return to their homes elsewhere in the UK at the weekends and they do not buy houses in the area or contribute much to the local economy. I was surprised when this information was revealed. I was even more surprised that you kept your head down and said nothing in response to this revelation. Your uncharacteristic silence was all the more significant, since, throughout the rest of the debate, you intervened vigorously, when you disagreed with anything. Do you dispute the information he provided or were you already aware that many of the staff at Faslane do not live here or contribute much to the local economy, because they live elsewhere in the UK for part of each week?

My second point concerns the calculation of the number of workers (4,500) in the supply chain that supports the 6,500 staff at the Base. I did not understand your explanation of how the number in the supply chain was calculated. I would be grateful if you could explain how the figure of 4,500 people in the supply chain was arrived at. As I recall, you said this figure was obtained "through use of an income multiplier, which is the amount you (ie we) spend in the local economy." 

 You were at pains to emphasise that these figures aren't made up, that they had been produced for Scottish Enterprise some time ago and that you have been quoting these figures consistently ever since. Frankly, your account of the calculation, though obviously well-rehearsed, did not make sense to me. I would be grateful if you would explain how the figure of 4,500 was calculated. It is incomprehensible how the cash we collectively spend in the shops can somehow be transmuted (by a magical "income multiplier") into the number of people employed in the supply chain for the Base. How is this possible? Moreover, how is this factor influenced by what we spend elsewhere - in Glasgow or Braehead for example? More importantly, how does the calculation take account of the transient nature of the staff, who work for the MOD and Babcocks at the Base but only live here part-time and leave for long weekends elsewhere?

It is no secret that the No Campaign, of which you are an active member, seeks to dissuade people from voting “yes” in the referendum, by trying to frighten the voters. This approach seeks to undermine the confidence of the voters by highlighting the alleged risks of voting “yes", whilst implying that there are absolutely no risks associated with voting “no.” Another undermining technique employed by the No Campaign is to disparage the idea that Scotland could be a successful independent nation that could, for example, defend itself. You used the latter technique at the meeting in the Victoria Halls when you sneeringly suggested that if the electorate voted 'yes' in September, the Scottish Navy would have only "seven frigates and half a submarine," the latter presumably being obtained as a farewell gift from the remaining UK. Very droll but not as absurd as the current parlous state of the RN. Are you aware that the RN now has many more commanding officers than active, major surface warships. When I last checked, there were 40 admirals and 260 captains but just 19 ships that are major surface combatants (13 frigates and 6 guided missile destroyers), not one of which is based in Scotland. This is disastrous for a nation with aspirations to be a major world power. 

Correction - for Westminster politicians with pretensions to pose on the world stage and, according to their favourite cliche, "punch above our weight." Even more absurd are the 2 aircraft carriers currently being built and for which the UK cannot afford to buy aircraft. It now turns out that there are questions about whether the flight deck of the single carrier that the Ministry of Defence can afford to retain, is strong enough for the aircraft to land on. I'll leave the submarines, including the abandoned hulks at Rosyth, for another day, when I hope you might clarify the logic, practicalities and morality of your position. This story requires a modern Gilbert and Sullivan duo to do justice to these issues and to the monumental incompetence and soaring self-regard of the Westminster politicians, including your labour colleagues at Westminster.

In conclusion, I wonder why you have apparently not noticed that the population in this area is falling and, according to the Sunday Times, house prices in Helensburgh are falling to a greater extent than anywhere else in the UK. (Google it if you haven’t seen this news.} Moreover, as the Advertiser recently reported, there are many unoccupied shops and a lot of charity shops in the centre of Helensburgh. Why is this? True to your Project Fear philosophy, you raised the spectre of falling house prices, depopulation and diminished prosperity which would inevitably occur in Helensburgh if the nuclear submarines were ever removed from Faslane. To emphasise your threat you pointed to Dunoon, where, when the US nuclear submarines were withdrawn, house prices, prosperity and the population all fell. You warned that a similar fate awaits Helensburgh. What you did not admit is that the dire (Dunoon-like) circumstances you predict already exist here in Helensburgh now, before any nuclear submarines have been withdrawn. Why is that? Is it possible that the falling house prices, the falling population and the numerous closed shops in central Helensburgh are related to the proximity of the Base and its nuclear weapons, from which many people would prefer to stay far away?

D. Pollock


  1. I assume Mr Pollock won't be holding his breath waiting for an answer?

    1. I doubt it very much. If he is, I fear for his life.

  2. Don't imply Baillie's a fat lying bitch on Newsnet Scotland either. You may be banned.

    1. LOL. I'll try to remember that if I'm ever invited to appear on the Biased Broadcasting Corporation., Not that I'm holding my breath.

      Although I'd not make a comment about her size, and I'd probably not call her a bitch, I can't see how could avoid pointing out that every time I read anything about her, whether it is speeches she has made, or something she has said in the chamber, she uses a set of "facts" which appear to have been concocted inside her own head.

  3. I must have caught this thanks to your excellent bogroll because I read it, I expect there will be an answer along shortly. No I am joking, why would Ms Baillie reply, she is too busy creating fiction to place before the First Minister in Parliament. What is it with the "Ladies for Labour" in Parliament and their inability to tell the truth. Surely they would make more money writing romantic fiction, nowadays you do not even need a Publisher, just put it on Amazon.
    @ David Briggs, indeed you would, and why should you, you would only be telling the truth, Ms Baillie would not recognise that.

    1. The blogroll is really largely the work of readers who have suggested good blogs. for me to add.

      I never believe anything that woman says. She seems totally incapable of arguing any point without resorting to fiction.

      But, it's not really that romantic!!

    2. Ha ha ha ha.Brilliant!

    3. Indeed CynicalHighlander but I will always tell the unvarnished truth, though I have a wee problem with that Tory women who is supposed to be in charge of the Tories in Parliament, something about her makes me want to call her Rosie so now I think Ruthie the Robot.

  4. Sorry I’m O/T so early Stu but thought folks would like to know that Mark Coburn who is cycling from Rome to Home has finally arrived back home in Scotland. He crossed the border at Gretna about 12:00 p.m. today. There to greet him were around 20 YES supporters. He is continuing on to Dumfries today before finishing his trip tomorrow. :)

    This guy is a real Scottish hero. The week before he started his trip he broke a bone in his elbow and cracked 4 ribs. Despite these injuries he has cycled from Rome and crossed the last border today. :P

    Hopefully I’ll have some photos to put up later. ;)

    1. Excellent news, Arbroath. Good man, kept going because he promised to do it... He must have been in a lot of pain. Well, when you believe in something. And here we are talking about the rest of our lives.

      Has he raised a lot?

      Oh... and btw, I'm not Stu... I'm only Tris :)

    2. Oops sorry about that one TRIS! LOL

    3. Ha ha... not at all. That I would ever be that clever!!

  5. Come on Who in their right mind would want to by a house and bring up a family next to a leaky Nuke sub force. The people of Helensburgh can look at their town and see the mess its in.

    As for Fat jackie, she along with most of her SLAB colleges are puppets for the tory state and that says all i need to make my mind up where to vote.

    "Labour and tory up a tree ""

    lie lie lie . Useless disgusting women.

    After indi labor are died .


    1. I was kinda hoping that after indi, a new Labour party would rise from the ashes of this load of Tory lickspittles.

      A party that Kier Hardie would recognise, that fought for the rights of poor people, working, unemployed, sick or elderly.

      A party Jimmy Reid would rejoin, if he were still with us.

      A party I could vote for.

      But I definitely wouldn't even want to visit that place, never mind live there, and with all the leaks I wouldn't bring up kids there if it was the last place in Scotland for fear they would get radiation poisoning and end up with cancers.

  6. As promised here’s some photos of Mark at the border today. (hope link works ;) )

    1. The link only took me to Google Plus, find your friends.

      Try again Arbroath! :)

    2. I don't understand this one Tris. I've just tried it again and it seems to work for me. Mind you we are talking about Google and me trying to get Google to work so anything is possible I suppose. :)

      I've had another look at the link and hope this link works for you, it should, I can't promise, be two photos, knowing me it's something completely different. LOL

    3. Still not getting anything Arbroath.

      Can you email them to me and I'll put them up (if I can).

      Braco emailed me something the other day and I couldn't get it saved to my computer. But at least I'll try.

    4. no no no...

      Before niko picks me up on it... :)

    5. Sunday 4-5pm livestream

      The only media that will be there is the Herald, pity we don't have a publicly funded visual media like the one that only ever appears for Labour events. Vote Yes 2014

    6. e-mail sent Tris.

      CH, when we were talking to Mark today he said he had contacted the Sunday Herald who were actually meant to be at the border today but had encountered some problems. That said I believe that they will have a piece about his cycle for independence in tomorrow's paper. :)

    7. Well, we'll all be buying the Herald tomorrow so we shall see it.

      Arbroath. I haven't got your email yet...

      It's Ms Baillie She's conspiring against me!!!!

  7. tris

    £ 100 billion is rather a lot and of course it could be used in a more
    peaceful constructive way. But we loyal Unionists have been given a
    cast iron guarantee, The first missile to be fired will have Alex salmond
    roped on it there is no surprise we avidly support the use of WMDs.


    ' I must have caught this thanks to your excellent bogroll '

    bogroll so that what you thunk of the republic...oh dearie me !!!
    a bogroll really !!!!!

    1. Ah. That explains everything then Niko. Although I'm wondering who gave you a cast iron guarantee. If it came from Westminster, I'd take it with a pinch of salt.

      Could you attach David Cameron and Nigel Farage, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband to it as well.

      Actually if you could manage the English cabinet and shadow cabinet that would be fine.

      And stop picking on people's typos you miserable old git. it's not like you never make any.

    2. Errr Niko, you have just highlighted why we on the ither side are weel above those ahem Loyal Unionist types, we don't want nasty weapons of mass destruction, as for the bogroll, blogroll,Tris knew what I meant, I bet there are times, oh heck most of the time when you simply make no sense.
      Not away yet to the INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS yet, you know the place that got it's independence through the barrel of a gun.

    3. Truth to tell Helkena, I never even noticed!! I expected Blogroll and I got blogroll!

      Oh, to be an independent republic!!!

  8. I notice Niko is posting on Cooncilur Kellys blog now. Maybe they met in the same (locked) hospital ward?

    1. Made my day that one did, Juteman.

    2. LOL.

      Strange friends, Niko.

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